Nicaraguan teenager receives a “Woman of the Year” Award
News from Nicaragua | Tuesday, 25 November 2014 |
Fifteen year old Anielka Martinez, from a Matagalpa rural community, was one of ten young women from around the world recognised by the US magazine Glamour for their perseverance in overcoming challenges to receiving an education. At the New York award ceremony Anielka shared the stage with other winners including the US ambassador to the UN Samantha Powers, philanthropist Chelsea Clinton, and the actress Lupita Nyong'o. Anielka received a letter from Michelle Obama congratulating her on the award for her work in promoting education in her community of El Tuma-La Dalia. Anielka was nominated for the award by the NGO Save the Children.
As well as working on the coffee plantations with her family and studying at the local school at the weekend, Anielka participates in a programme called ‘Children lead the way’ coordinated by the Nicaraguan NGO CESESMA. Her double role of child worker and school student is typical of the reality for most rural children in Nicaragua.
Ensuring children continue with their studies even though they work, is a central theme of the project which aims to ensure that they have access to quality education, learn skills that will improve their futures, and are protected from exploitation.
Marisol Hernandez Mendez, CESESMA’s violence prevention coordinator, told NSC “we are very proud of Anielka and how her award highlights the fact that the key to success is getting an education, something that is difficult to obtain in rural communities and even more so for girls. We are all very committed to continuing and improving our work in this area.”
Anielka told a local newspaper that she would like to be a journalist because she “likes to investigate and to know what is going on in the world, I like to read and write. I’m curious about things and want to be a writer”.